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Dragnet - Episode # 18 The Big Seventeen w/commercials

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Dragnet - Episode # 18 The Big Seventeen w/commercials

Publication date 11/06/1952
Sergeant Friday investigates the destruction of a movie theater by a gang a teenagers! The cops find a small box containing marijuana and put two-and-two togetherâ¦the reefer is making the kids go wild! Turns out that teenage Johnny is pushing weed, yellow jackets, goof balls and "H." His friend tells the policeâbut it's too late...Johnny takes a hot shot and ODs!


Sergeant Friday investigates the destruction of a movie theater by a gang a teenagers! The cops find a small box containing marijuana and put two-and-two togetherâ¦the reefer is making the kids go wild! Turns out that teenage Johnny is pushing weed, yellow jackets, goof balls and "H." His friend tells the policeâbut it's too late...Johnny takes a hot shot and ODs!


Reviewer: XMarine3053 - favorite - February 22, 2016
Subject: Bad weed
Weed is evil! Tobacco is good.
Reviewer: Donfield - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 13, 2011
Subject: Poor audio
Joe goes after kids smoking pot, with the trail leading to heavy narcotics.

As other reviewers mentioned, sound is very low. If you have a video editor, you should be able to boost the audio to an acceptable level.
Reviewer: mostawesomenoah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 17, 2011
Subject: Good show
The volume was varry low. I had to turn the valume on my speakers all the way up and I could still not hear it as much, but I still have to give it 4 stars only because it was a good show.
Reviewer: splue - - May 6, 2011
Reviewer: uniQ - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 6, 2011
Subject: "some get lost along the way"
Some youths in a neighborhood being led astray by various narcotics, girls too. They steal cars, get drunk and get "real foul mouthed" with "language I wouldn't even use at a stag party". The local pusher, a boy named Johnny Demmering, whacks his supplier, "Jocko", and steals "enough H to start a war"! All this we learn is because his father ran away and although his mother tried, "there's no getting around it, a boy needs a father".

Finally, after closely questioning his former girlfriend, they go with her to a meeting in a park. As the episode summary notes, he died of an overdose.
Reviewer: Ron Raygun - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 2, 2010
Subject: Another 1950's Good Series
The sound level is terrible, but probably do to the one digitizing the original 16mm print or videotape. The copyright shown was 1952 and the unmarked car used by Friday and Smith is a white 1952 Ford Mainline. The commercials were added during syndication of re-runs, but the original episode dating appears to be correct.
Too bad we don't have shows like this anymore. I don't know why the I Led 3 Lives TV series is being hidden or banned, because it was made during the same time frame. Hopefully it will soon show up here.
Reviewer: cosmico - - January 30, 2010
Subject: The 1952 Date is Correct

This video was likely sourced from a syndication print made several years later (meaning that later commercials were spliced in), however the 1952 original show air date is correct. Check with any of several online film or television databases.
Reviewer: mysticx0 - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 30, 2010
Subject: Dated Wrong
this is not from 1952...

first clue, its dated 11/6/1952 but the car commercials says look for the new car on oct 16. they wouldnt promote a car 11 months away.

secondly, the freakin car commercial has new for '59 at the end of it!!

still a great show though but incorrectly dated.
Reviewer: IanKoro - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 29, 2009
Subject: Drug use
What, drug use wasn't commonplace until the hippies? What a load of nonsense.

While it wasn't exactly mainstream, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin were all relatively common and easily obtained in any urban area in the 30s.

Smoking pot was cool amongst jazz musicians in the 20s, and probably before.

A couple decades before that, anyone could walk into a drugstore and buy cocaine, morphine, or cannabis tinctures. You could even order yourself a convenient cocaine and syringe kit from Sears.

While the anti-drug nonsense is good for a laugh, you can't blame Jack Webb for reefer madness. Dragnet is always a great show, and Jack Webb is awesome. Personally, I watched this episode stoned and enjoyed it, without kicking the back of anyone's seat or yelling curse words I wouldn't use at a stag party.
Reviewer: Meatpies - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 16, 2008
Subject: It's modern for 1952...
I don't know anything about cars, so I couldn't look at the cars in the episode to tell me that it's not 1952. What got me were the commercials. I couldn't wrap my mind around the blender commercial being from '52, nor the dentu-creme or the Camel ad. If it had been '52, the blender would have probably been demonstrated by someone instead of the jingle and just showing the blender alone. The dentucreme commecercial was also not of the early 50's style. Then, the Chevy commercial with Pat Boone and Dinah Shore played, telling us all about the new model for '59.

I'm kinda glad the year was wrong... it gave me an opportunity to use my knowledge to tell me that something just wasn't right!
Reviewer: Bolexman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 20, 2008
Subject: dragnet
(Note: this boy would have been born in 1935 -- long before the hippie generation. Webb tackled drug use long before it was commonplace.) If you have not had a chance to see some of the original Dragnet episodes from the early 50s this is a very nice example of the way the show started off. In its film noir style. This episode has some nice vintage commercials included but they are most likely from later on when the show ran in syndication but only by a year or so. As it turns out this particular episode is considered to be very rare and sought after by dragnet fans.
Reviewer: Ol Hippie - - July 28, 2008
Subject: Won't work anymore
Well over 13,000 have downloaded this and worn it out. I have tried over and over to embed it in my site I can hear it but cannot see it (not even the player)I have looked at the code and do not see a problem.
Reviewer: slugs and urchins - favoritefavorite - May 27, 2008
Subject: just the facts, mam
This is good for laughs, but think, people took this garbage seriously and they still do. In my town the cops have a program to burnish their image even now, but crime prevention is a joke and the only place they actively prevent crime is within two blocks of the most expensive shopping and tourism district, every other area is unsafe most of the time. The town? Santa Barbara, Ca... In L.A. you have to worry about the cops as well as the crooks! Friday and his partner were part and parcel of this charade.
Reviewer: KLOUTIUER - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 29, 2007
Subject: Poor Jonny
Reviewer: lancelotlmg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 21, 2007
Subject: Still packs a wallop
How ironic! While Sgt. Friday is trying to figure out why American youth is being poisoned, he's pushing the most prolific killer them of all: cigarette tobacco, the deadly weed which would snuff out Webb himself. Still, it is fun to see the baby-faced Jack in his full automatronic box. I grew up watching the 60s shows, which were also great kitsch. The commercials, as others have noted, are clearly later additions, but as much a hoot as the show. Wow, look at that GE blender blend! The two singers in the Chevy commercial are Pat Boone and Dinah Shore. I agree that the sound quality is poor, but thanks to The Archive for making this available!
Reviewer: akohler - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 15, 2007
Subject: Super Campy
This should remind you of "Reefer Madness" - absolutely hysterical. The original commercials really add a lot.
Reviewer: specs - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 31, 2006
Subject: dum de dum dum
I do like Dragnet. I have many of the shows
on radio and few of the episodes from tele-
vison. Please get more of them if possible.
Thank you.
Reviewer: jimelena - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 22, 2006
Subject: Dentures
Why do I brush my dentures with acidphemodentalthol? I want to us tooth paste like little Sally.
Well this commercial will tell you. Because little Sally's head would rot right off her shoulders if she used denture scrub.
That doesn't answer the question. But the show doesn't answer the question why Johnny is insane either. Smoking reefer didn't get him that way. My theory is that Jack Webb's politacal agenda drives everyone nuts.
So stay in school kids, and don't use Jack Webb. Good show though.
Reviewer: loyaltubist - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 11, 2006
Subject: Any '50s Commercials are Better than No '50s Commercials.
This episode is one of the best known of the Dragnet series. It was especially heart wrenching on radio. This is one of my favorites. It was one of the shows that followed after Barton Yarborough's untimely death and Joe Friday had to get another partner! There were some comments by others about the age of the boy. The show was in 1952. If he was born in 1935, that would make him 16 or 17 in 1952. I think the kid is great. Maybe it's because I was born after this show aired but I really think he adds up to how I perceived teenaged boys acted in the early 1950s.

As for the commercials--THEY AREN'T ORIGINAL! Dragnet was sponsored (owned) by Liggett & Myers. The sponsoring brands were Fatima and Chesterfield cigarettes. Cigarettes played an important part of every show, even the ones geared for minors to watch, like this one. Joe Friday would offer a cigarette to a witness, he would puff a cigarette in a certain way, or there would be something else that involved cigarettes. It would be nice to see the old Fatima commercials that went with this show. But any commercials from the 1950s are better than none. So I will watch the Camel cigarette ads or the ads for the 1959 Chevy with Pat Boone and Dinah Shore. It is a good show.
Reviewer: Accountant - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 9, 2006
Subject: Memories from the fifties.
Great memories from the Fabulous Fifties, when the entire county in my West Texas home town would gather the one night a week that either Milton Berle or Dragnet would air amongst the snow on the screen of my uncle's brand new Emerson 12 inch round screen TV. I don't recall the night Dragnet was on but Tuesday belonged to Uncle Milty and his Texaco sponsor.
Fond memories of a wonderful time long gone.
Reviewer: billbarstad - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 27, 2006
Subject: Nostalgic
I hadn't watched an episode of 'Dragnet' in over 35 years, but this one brought it all back. Same formula, same banal chatter between Friday and his partner Frank (played by Herb Ellis) when they had to wait, same portentous questions set up by Friday and answered with their gravely delivered answers, same wooden acting by Jack Webb. Still it was fun to see one again.

The commercials were fun, too. The last one, for a 1959 Chevy had Pat Boone and a songstress, well known at the time, whose name escapes me.

I downloaded the 256kb mpeg4. The video was good quality and the audio was clean, but required full volume through my external speakers to be heard easily. I notice some syncing problems here and there throughout.
Reviewer: annelions - favorite - April 21, 2006
Subject: Poor sound quality
I wanted to watch this while doing some other stuff on the computer. However, the volume on the recording is so low that I had to turn the sound on my computer up almost all the way in order to just barely hear any dialogue.

Unfortunately, this means I cannot watch this while doing anything else as normal computer sounds (right click, menu click, etc) are magnified 100x what they should be.
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